Auction of the collection YSL - Pierre Bergé: record sale for the bottle of perfume : "Belle haleine : Eau de Voilette" produced by Marcel Duchamp
The auction of the collection Yves-Saint-Laurent-Pierre Bergé, organized by Christie's from 23 untill 25 February 2009, reached records. Among the proposed modern and impressionistic works, le flacon Belle haleine : Eau de Voilette, produced by Marcel Duchamp in 1921 (with the cooperation of Man Ray) reached about 9 million euros. The artist, born in 1887 to Blainville-Crevon in Seine-Maritime (Haute-Normandie), was a painter, a sculptor and a plastics technician. To create his work (belong to the dada’s current), he diverted the bottle “Un air embaumé” by Rigaud, symbolic fragrance of the perfumer because this one was always number one of its sales.
One of the main advertising posters of the perfume “Un air embaumé” represents " a slightly dressed young lady to carry in the nostrils a bottle of perfume, a fragrance of which evaporates symbolized by a volute undulating in the air. The young lady seems to take a profound inspiration, blindly and the slightly knocked down head, letting hear that the fragrance possesses aphrodisiac qualities which make lose all their means to whom inhales the intoxicating vapors. It is maybe exactly these qualities which made settle of Duchamp on this mark, him who wished to make the glances converge on the woman with whom the face decorates the bottle, appearance of its feminine alter-ego: Rrose Sélavy " (Christie’s).
This key bottle of the perfumer Rigaud was made in La Glass Vallée, particularly by the glass factory Darras situated in Blangy-sur-Bresle.
1. Advertising poster from the newspaper L'Illustration, 1932.
2 et 3. Advertising poster Un air embaumé, Rigaud.
Based in Blangy-sur-Bresle by Henri Scobart after authorization in 1892, the Darras glass factory was implanted along the railroad which connected Paris with Le Tréport and which served during its activity. This glass factory had a manual, mecanical and semi-automatic production for the bottling of perfume shop, pharmacy, hardware shop and distillery; the glass factory also assured the operations of cutting, decoration.
In 1902, Henri Scobart became attached Camille Darras's services, which exercised then the function of accountant of glass factory. The company took then the name of Glass factory Scobart-Darras. In 1908, Henri Scobart left the management of the company to Camille Darras who made prosper his business by working with the biggest names of the perfume shops as Molinard, Chanel, Caron, D’Orsay, etc.: It is under his direction that the bottle “Un air embaumé” was created. The Darras glass factory closed in 1968, but buildings are always visible today.
This bottle is crystal cut and polished on the bottom and both faces. These contain identical motives symbolizing two twigs which cross themselves on the base of the bottle where is overlaid a flower. Sides are frosted by sanding. The motives are identical on both sides : it is about woman's body stripped on the background of foliage under which appears a column surmounted by a flame. The letter L is visible at the bottom of one from both directions. The covered with sand, slightly curved crystal cork and of rectangular shape, is cut and polished on the slice. A motive appears on the top in the form of relief undulations. Two of them leave angles set to join in the central part in spirals. The bottle is filled in the emery.
We invite you to come to admire this bottle to the glass museum of Blangy-sur-Bresl which will open again to the public on March 15th, 2009.